Saturday, March 25, 2017

Origami Weekend.

Things are beginning to pile up!   Perhaps this was one of the reasons I decided to take a break from Origami for a while.






 I somehow managed to unload most of the old stuff before Christmas and, for a while at least,  we had a clutter-free work shop.   Well,  Clutter-free from paper and various animals and sculptures at least.   Cheryl still has the Felt crammed in the closets.


The bad thing about all of this is that I threw out a bunch of paper that was simply getting in the way of things.   And now,  Several months later, I purchased a bunch of colors yet again.   I feel like an alcoholic that emptied all of this stashes only to travel back to the liquor store to buy more!  Cheryl knows how I hate to waste things,  but she hates clutter more and she usually wins.

Maybe I should start folding something other than fish for my next round.   Complex animals require better paper and more time.   The koi are nice because the paper is cheap!  ( Micheals has a spring sale with packets of 50 for $2!  How can I resist?!?!)


So this post is simply a reminder for myself why I try not to fold as much as I once did.  Either that or I have to find another way to unload them to the public.   We shall see.



Friday, March 24, 2017

The British Love Their Football.

British Humor.   I found this  a few days ago and I believe they capture the world of Sports and ESPN.   Enjoy.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

DIY Ethan To The "Almost" Rescue.

Only if you have the CASH$$$
Being a DIY-er,  I know first hand the excitement and terror that comes into solving a seemingly simple and insignificant problem.  Many people would simply call a professional or, in this case, the Landlord to solve the bothersome problem.   They are, after all, probably better qualified to handle such issues.

He doesn't know how to do that?
But there is something about hiring a professional that really bothers me.  Maybe it is the judging looks he gives you when he twists a loose nut and solves the problem.   Maybe it is the awkward way I feel trying to explain how the item in question makes this sound...that it is currently not making.  Or perhaps it is the fact that I do not want to pay someone $100.00 an hour to solve something I could have done.

And so it goes with Plumbing.   I am not a plumber....I'm a Fisheries Biologist, Wood Carver, Student Teacher, Army Soldier, Truck Driver, Furniture Mover and Assembler, Boat Builder, Burger Flipper, and Origami Artist....but not a Plumber.   But with two college degrees and a vast number of job experiences,  I should be able to figure out plumbing...right?

That is exactly what Cheryl is afraid of.
Don't get me wrong!   It is not that I think the job is not worth $100.00 an hour.   If I had to go to some stranger's house out in the sticks to crawl under their dirty cluttered sinks to stop a flood as it is happening ...I would want $100.00 an hour as well!  However,  I do not have $100 to throw at someone to solve my problems.   Nor do I enjoy waiting for the Landlords to arrive next month to "fix the problem."  So Let's watch some YouTube videos and get dirty...

Cheryl might not understand my learning process:  Study.  watch, spend money, try, fail, Spend even more Money, try again, fail again, and then,  finally after spending more money than first promised, I patch things together so they work.   It is rare that I'm allowed to skip a step.
Cheryl the Hulk broke the handle.


It started with the handle finally falling off the bathroom shower.   Goodness knows how old these fixtures are, but the handle had stripped out and needed replacing.  I was impressed that the hardware was able to be removed so easily...and this got the ball rolling.

I like keeping tools simple.
The entire fixture has been leaking and hissing for several months...( maybe even longer!) I looked at this as an opportunity to see if I could fix it once and for all.  I managed to remove the "Faucet Stem" with the simple tools in my arsenal.  Again, I usually get stuck here and have to buy "special tools" to remove impossibly stubborn fixtures.  But not today.

Cold Water side.
Hot water side.
I was able to clean things up and reassemble them.  The Cold water side seems to be at the core of the problem.  It was removed in several sections; whereas the Hot water side came out as a single assembly.

Cold water seat 
Hot water seat

  Looking at the Seat. ( the small part in the back behind the stem)   I could see that it appears corrosion is interfering with the O Ring Seal.   Comparing it to the Hot water side, They do not appear exactly the same.

Looks like I will have to replace the Cold Water seat... but  My cleaning and removal seemed to help a bit.  The leak is still there but not as blatant.  And the hissing has quieted down dramatically.
   I'm mostly impressed that I had only spent 85 cents on a new O ring ( that was not quite right) and did not flood the bathroom or break anything.   So I consider this a "WIN" for The Great Ethan Allen.  Who needs a medal?   I have the knowledge and self satisfaction  that I'm a Winner!  In the foreign field of plumbing...while having no formal training or instruction.  Hurray for ME!

And that is why I'm  a DIY-er.   Solving problems without making them worse brings its own reward that no one else could possibly understand.  If you have read this far and are asking,  "What's the big deal?"   then I doubt I could explain it any better.  And you probably have never DIY-ed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Training with Trains and Running with Deer. Cheryl's Week in Running.

Sexy summer-like weather.

Cheryl's version of panting.
This Monday started right off with one of the short long runs for Cheryl.   14 miles in Davenport.   Compared to the Twin Cities the temps were much warmer.   Cheryl and I both down-dressed half way through the run.   It was about as nice a day as one could hope for in a Monday after a race.   Cheryl was even feeling frisky and spirited as we trotted along the Mississippi.
Faster than an anchored barge!


Slower than a speeding Diesel Freight Train?
It just would not be Davenport if Cheryl was not racing or chasing a train.   And I managed to capture the action as it happened this time.

Not to say that Cheryl is slow...but she did just run a 10 miler in Minnesota and she had already ran 10 miles in this training run.  Not to mention Trains are made of metal.   And trains are strong!  They burn diesel fuel....which is kind of a cheat if you think about it.    Ah well.... Good things trains do not show up at races....very often.
Colder weather, warmer dress.

The weather dipped down  about 10 degrees the following day and it has been fairly cold ever since.  Today was nice because of the sun, but it was still chilly in the morning.  
Chasing the deer.


Object in camera are closer than they appear!
The highlight of the run was the deer.   Normally we see the token duck, goose, and maybe a blue heron.  Today we were graced with a couple of deer that allowed Cheryl to get close.   How close?   Well,  there was a moment in Iowa City where she could have petted one.  ( That happened twice!) But this was pretty close too.  And I managed to have the camera ready this time.

I'm liking this smart phone for everything but the phone.   I can play music on long runs AND I have a built in camera that is handy for moments like this.   I'm impressed that it did not come out blury or out of frame.  Sometimes I get lucky...hopefully I will be able to tap into that when we go to Boston.

Other than that...I have been working.  Two days in a row!  We both have more hours coming up next month so that will mean less SubNautica time and more time spent earning money.... which is not as much fun.   I have been donating a few hours each day for some Origami,  so perhaps I will post some of those pics in the future.  We shall see
Clocking the time.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cheryl's 10 Mile Hot Dash For Some Hot Mash!

Who runs a race like this?  
We traveled to the Twin Cities yesterday to compete in the Twin City Hot Dash.  A 10 mile/5K race to celebrate the Rugged Individualism that represents those "nut cases" that live in Minnesota.    Let me pause for a moment, as that remark may sound harsh....  To anyone but a Minnesotan.   I know!  Because I lived in those frigid temps for 4 years!

Beards, Plaid, Floaties.   Is this a race or a logging camp?
Oh ya!  You Betcha!
 Granted, I grew up in Michigan..where the winters were cold ( but not AS cold as Minnesota.) and the snow was deep, ( Deeper than most places in Minnesota.)  And we have Yoopers that talk funny....just like Minnesota.   Today was one of those days that reminded me of all those weird things that set the folks in the north apart from the rest of the country.
Plaid Suit!  Where is this fashionable?
Only in Minnesota!   Yes! he actually ran in that outfit







In addition to the strange accent and love of all things cold,  they also wear strange outfits.   And I'm not simply talking about plaid.   They do wear that often enough.  But how often do you see someone wearing a plaid suit?  Need I say more?

Cheryl Shows off the Jacket
Trees are warm....right?











But let me get to the race.   Cheryl ran well today,  placing in the top 10 for her age group and averaging a 7:44 minute mile average pace.  Not to shabby!

Cheryl removes  her fleece to start the race



The weather was cold.   And not simply cold like you people in other parts of the U.S. might think.  Minnesota has a lovely thing called a "Wind Chill".   Where the temp says 30 degrees.  (plenty cold enough) but then the wind drops that to 20 degrees!  And that 20 degrees seems like -20 degrees in Fairbanks Alaska! ( which actually was not that bad,  since there was NO wind in that city..and the air was very dry) But trying to explain the perception of cold vs the actual measurable number is a difficult thing to tackle.   So let me just say that 10 minutes  after leaving a warm car,  you begin to lose feeling in your fingers!  Even with gloves on!  THAT kind of cold.
Cheryl only cares how her Body looks.


So Cheryl knew she was going to be battling the cold and the overheating issue that comes with running in the cold.  With a 7:44 average,  I think she did pretty well, considering the conditions.
A new 10 Mile PR!
Running towards the finish






Have they forgotten its winter?
And now look at those people in the front!   All that exposed skin as they run a sub 5 minute mile pace to finish the 10 mile race in under 50 minutes!   To folks in Minnesota,  they pretend that every time they step down,  flames shoot up their legs!  Wouldn't that be cool on a cold day?

And legs!

Flaming feet!

This "helps" on cold days.











Time for Treats!


And More Treats!
Other than that,  there was a fairly large after party with all kinds of goodies and treats.   One of the key features of running the Hot Dash was the Hot Dish they give to every finisher.  A tasty casserole that looks like a combination of Shepard Pie and a Pastie ( Michigan references....look them up!) It was good.... as anything would be that was  hot and calorie filled on a cold day.   I believe Rachel Ray calls this "Comfort Food".

Hot Dish from the Hot Dash!

Missing:  The Tater tots.  I ate those first.






I'm not sure how comfortable it was, because Cheryl did not want to stick around very long afterwards.   She lost the feeling in both hands and the tips of her toes...so it was back to the warmth of the Subaru.   We even skipped the free beer that was offered due to the cold.   And that is really saying something!













So now we are back home.   Safe and sound with a grumpy cat who thought we had abandoned him.   He's fine now, but when we first opened the door he gave us a "what for..."   Cheryl has another trophy to add to her growing 2017 collection,  and has gained some much needed confidence after the wishy-washy 2016 season.   Let's hope that 2017 continues to offer more awesome runs as we progress.   We shall keep you posted!


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